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Avoiding the Weeds: How to Stay Focused as a Manager


Do you ever find yourself:

  • Feeling overwhelmed by details and losing sight of the bigger picture?
  • Spending more time planning than actually doing?
  • Working hard but not making much progress?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be getting "stuck in the weeds".

Here are some ways to recognize this issue and overcome it in your management role.

What does it mean to be "Stuck In the Weeds"

Being "in the weeds" means getting bogged down and distracted by details, causing you to lose sight of the way forward and the bigger picture. It can happen for various reasons, such as wanting to understand all the details, being scared that things will go wrong without your expert eye, or not yet trusting your team members.

However, staying in the weeds isn't ideal for your management role. It can lead to inefficient use of your time, hinder team development, and cause demotivation.

How to Get Out of the Weeds

Here are some strategies for avoiding the weeds and staying focused on your management responsibilities:

  1. Delegate: Decide to take a step back and enable someone else to understand the detail instead of you. Determine who is the right person for each task and what information you genuinely need.
  2. Request Summaries: Encourage your team members to provide summaries and top-line information instead of detailed reports. This helps prevent getting sucked back into the details.
  3. Evaluate Your Involvement: Think carefully about which conversations and meetings you participate in. Ensure that your involvement adds real value and is necessary rather than just habit or personal preference.
  4. Stay Focused on the Bigger Picture: Remind yourself to concentrate on the road ahead, including strategy and long-term goals, rather than getting lost in small details. Seek support from colleagues or mentors to help change your approach.

If you have any tips and tricks on avoiding those distractions and not getting overly involved, we would love to hear them. But if you would like more help and guidance on this matter, feel free to get in touch!